Democracy Now! Monday, September 19, 2011
"Occupy Wall Street": Thousands March in NYC Financial District, Set Up Protest Encampment
Producer Democracy Now!Audio/Visual sound, color
Demonstrators are marching on Wall Street today on the third day of a campaign dubbed "Occupy Wall Street," which began on Saturday when thousands gathered in New York City’s Financial District. Inspired by the massive public protests in Cairo’s Tahrir Square and Madrid’s Puerta del Sol Square, hundreds have slept outside near Wall Street for the past two nights. We play a video report on the protest by Democracy Now!'s Sam Alcoff and get a live update from the streets from Nathan Schneider, editor of the blog "Waging Nonviolence." We also speak with David Graeber, an anthropologist who participated in the activities. "If you look at who showed up, it was mostly young people, and most of them were people who had gone through the educational system, who were deeply in debt, and who found it completely impossible to get jobs," says Graeber. "The system has completely failed them... If there's going to be any kind of society worth living in, we’re going to have to create it ourselves."
David Graeber: The Debt of the American Poor Should Be Forgiven
As President Obama prepares to outline a deficit-reduction plan that includes tax increases, as well as cuts to programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, anthropologist David Graeber proposes a radical solution: cancel the debt of the nation’s poor. "Debts between the very wealthy or between governments can always be renegotiated and always have been throughout world history. They’re not anything set in stone," says Graeber, author of "Debt: The First 5,000 Years." "It’s, generally speaking, when you have debts owed by the poor to the rich that suddenly debts become a sacred obligation, more important than anything else. The idea of renegotiating them becomes unthinkable."
"They Just Started Shooting Us from Everywhere": Scores of Protesters Killed in Yemen
In Yemen, the government’s violent crackdown on protesters has intensified, leading to the bloodiest two days in several months. At least 21 protesters have been killed today in the capital of Sana’a. On Sunday, 26 demonstrators were gunned down, and hundreds were injured. Demonstrators are calling for an end to President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s 33-year rule as he has repeatedly broken promises to step down. Last week, Saleh authorized his vice president to negotiate a transfer of power with the opposition. The initiative was proposed by the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council and sets the path for a peaceful transition of power from Saleh, who has ruled Yemen since 1978. We go to Yemen for an update from Abdul-Ghani al-Iryani, a political analyst based in Sana’a and co-founder of the Democratic Awakening Movement.
Noam Chomsky on the Legality of NATO’s Bombing of Libya and the Scramble for Oil
As the manhunt for Col. Muammar Gaddafi continues, MIT Professor Emeritus Noam Chomsky questions the legality of the continued NATO bombing campaign. "My own feeling was that you could have made a case for a no-fly zone and protection of civilians, but I think it’s much harder to make a case for direct participation in a civil war and undercutting of possible options that were supported by almost the entire world," Chomsky says. "What’s important in Libya is, first of all, it has a good deal of oil," he adds. "There are some reasons to anticipate that it might turn out not too badly, but it’s—I think it would be a very rash person who would try to make a prediction now."
Noam Chomsky: The U.S. & Israel Strongly Oppose "Rise of Any Meaningful Democracy" in Middle East
Earlier this month, Turkey expelled Israel’s ambassador and other senior diplomats after the release of a United Nations report on Israel’s attack on the Gaza-bound aid flotilla in 2010. The report accused Israel of "excessive and unreasonable force" in its attacks on the Gaza aid ship, Mavi Marmara, which killed nine people. But it also called on Israel to issue a statement of regret and compensate the families of the dead, as well as the wounded passengers. The Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, refused to apologize. We talk to MIT Professor Emeritus Noam Chomsky about the relationship between Turkey and Egypt, long key allies for Israel, and how the deterioration of their relations "contributes very substantially to Israel’s isolation in the region."
Noam Chomsky: 2012 GOP Candidates Views are "Off the International Spectrum of Sane Behavior"
MIT Professor Emeritus Noam Chomsky discusses the position of the Republican presidential candidates on issues such as climate change and calls them "utterly outlandish." "I’m not a great enthusiast for Obama, as you know, from way back, but at least he’s somewhere in the real world," Chomsky says. "Perry, who’s very likely … to win the primary and win the nomination, and maybe to win the election, he’s often in outer space."